ICM has released what I expect to be the first in a line of Unimog trucks with this be the standard Unimog S 404 truck. Having seen the Tankograd titles covering this vehicle the Bundeswehr used the base vehicle to create a whole family and knowing ICM and their desire to make the most of their moulds I can expect a lot of new releases to follow on the tail of this release.
This release from ICM is packaged in the usual manner with the sprues in the same re-sealable bag that has resulted in a part being broken away from the sprue in this example. The decals are protected inside the instruction booklet and the clear parts are protected in their own bag and then packed with the other sprues. The parts are very fine in some cases and I am pleased to see good access to the parts for removal, but that does increase the risk of damage. The moulding quality itself is of a good quality being cleanly moulded, but there are some ejector pin marks that need attention.
The chassis of this release is a multipart assembly and this will make future releases and changes easier to accommodate, but this does mean you will need to take care with assembly as if it is not square assembly going on will be a pain. A plus of this approach means that the level of detail is very good and accuracy is of a high level. The suspension is set at a neutral height and will be difficult to alter.
As is the usual practice of ICM a good replication of the engine and gear box is included, which despite no photo etch being used looks great to me. Fuel tanks included have good surface detail and these aspects of the model are where the modeller can show off their skills and add wire and the like to replicate fuel lines, brake pipes and electrical harness detail. The exhaust will benefit from having the end drilled to improve the appearance.
The detail on the axles and drive shafts meets my expectations, but my pet hate is in place with the wheels not being able to show turned and surgery not being the easiest to tackle either. A pt hate of many is also present in the form of vinyl rubber tyres. It is my opinion that ICM provide some of the nicest and most complete detail where the hidden areas of a model are concerned opening up a lot of options for the modeller.
The cab of the model can be assembled off of the chassis which will please many when it comes to painting. It is the interior areas of the cab that will need to be checked over for ejector pin marks. With that said the detail is of a very good standard and decals have been included for the instrument cluster. The seta have a very new look to them which can be addressed with tissue paper and PVA glue. The doors could be shown open, but that is not intended by ICM. The clear parts are suitably thin and meet my expectations. Wing mirrors and wipers are separate parts which will require care when adding them.
The truck bed is another area where it can be assembled as a subassembly and added after painting. Detail on all faces of the truck bed look to have been considered and replicated well from the plate detail to the sub frame. The sides and rear of the truck bed frame can be folded down on the real vehicle, but consideration of this has not been addressed as well as it could have in this respect.
ICM has provided four finishing options which are:
Unimog S 404, Bundeswehr, Upper Bavaria, 1970s
Unimog S 404, German Air Force, 74th Fighter Squadron, Neuburg, 1970
Unimog S 404, 5th Artillery Training Regiment, Idar-Obrestein, 1970s
Unimog S 404, Kulsheim, 363rd Tank Battalion, Kulsheim, 1980s
Also released for use with this model from ICM is a dedicated paint set listed as for use with Bundeswehr vehicles and AFV’s. The set provides six paints which are:
US Dark Green
This is a great first release of the Unimog as it starts the modeller off with the base vehicle on which ICM can build in future. The detail in the oily areas and underside is really nicely tackled and provides the modeller with some interesting finishing options. This is a really nice release in all regards I just wish the front wheels could be shown turned.